John 14:12-14 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”
The Works of Jesus
What works did Jesus do when he lived on the earth? He healed the sick and afflicted, he raised the dead back to life, he delivered people from demons, he comforted the sorrowful, he fed the hungry, he calmed the storms, and he performed many other miracles.
But what else did he do? He preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins, he proclaimed that he is the only way to God the Father and to eternal life with God, and he taught that if we are to come after him we must deny self, die daily to sin, and follow him in obedience (Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58).
And what else? He chastised the rulers in the temple of God who were living in hypocrisy, for they were living one thing while preaching another, and they were going through the motions of religion while they were involved in wicked deeds, in secret. They tried to look good on the outside, but they weren’t good. So, he told them plainly that it would not go well for them.
He also didn’t go with the flow. He went against it, which is one of the reasons they hated him, because he was not like them, and he did not “dance their dance.” He didn’t conform to the norms of society (of the world), but he conformed to God the Father’s likeness.
Jesus spoke the truth plainly, although he did speak in parables, too. He was not one who “beat around the bush,” who avoided confrontation, or who tried to soft pedal the truth so that people would not be offended. He wasn’t mean, but he was definitely strong where he needed to be.
Jesus loved the people and he loved God the Father, and he learned obedience through the things he suffered, although he was sinless. And he showed his love for God and for the people in all the things that he did, not just when he was feeding them or healing their diseases.
So, Jesus said that we who follow him with our lives will do the works that he did. It doesn’t mean each one of us will do all of them, but there are some that all of us should do such as sharing the gospel (the true gospel) with the people of this world.
And then he said that we will actually do greater works because he is going (and he did go) to the Father. So, how is it that us doing greater works than him is related to him going to the Father? Could it be that “greater” means that they will be far reaching?
For, Jesus could only reach the people he could physically be with. But when he left this earth, and he sent his Holy Spirit to indwell his followers, now we can, in the power of the Spirit, do the kinds of things Jesus did, only now all over the world, wherever the Lord opens the doors.
Whatever We Ask
Scripture must always be interpreted or understood in its context. Jesus didn’t say that he would give us whatever we ask of him. He said he would give us whatever we ask of him in his name. And to do something in someone’s name is to do what that person would approve of or do.
In other words, a person’s name on something has his/her stamp of approval. It says it meets his/her standards, and that he/she agrees with what is being done or said. So, to ask something in the name of Jesus is to ask according to what he would approve.
Also, the ones doing the asking are those who genuinely believe in Jesus via dying with Christ to sin and being resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, to be lived to him and to his righteousness. And they are those who are doing the kinds of things that Jesus did, in obedience to him.
John 14:15-17 ESV
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”
Jesus said that if we love him we will obey him. We will do what he says, which is also what his New Testament apostles taught us with regard to how we are to live to please God in all our conduct. This isn’t saying we will never sin (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that sin should not be what we practice (Gal 5:16-21).
For, Jesus Christ died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; Rom 8:1-17; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14).
But this is not optional. We don’t “get saved” and then we get to choose whether or not to follow Jesus with our lives. For, Jesus said that to come after him we must deny self, die daily to sin, and follow him in obedience. He said his sheep listen to (heed) him and they follow (obey) him.
And Scripture teaches us that if we don’t obey the Lord that we don’t know him, and if we claim to be in fellowship with him but we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, that we are liars who don’t live by the truth. And, if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins (1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 8:1-17; Rom 6:16; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).
So, if you want to be in relationship with Jesus Christ, to have your sins forgiven, and to have the hope of eternal life with God, you must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness. And you must not make sin your practice, or you will not inherit eternal life with God.
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.